Aung San Suu Kyi Stripped of Human Rights Honor


NOVEMBER 15, 2018

Jakarta. Myanmar's civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been stripped of Amnesty International's highest honor for failing to speak out for the thousands of Rohingya people affected by a campaign of violence allegedly perpetrated by the country’s military.

"Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage and the undying defense of human rights," Amnesty International secretary general, Kumi Naidoo, said in press release issued on Monday.

Amnesty said the Nobel laureate had failed to use her "political and moral authority" to protect human rights in Myanmar, and that she had been indifferent to alleged atrocities committed by the country's military, as well as increasing intolerance of the freedom of expression.

More than 700,000 Rohingya have crossed into neighboring Bangladesh since August 2017 amid a military crackdown, described by the United Nations as a genocide, following coordinated attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on 24 police posts and an army base that left 71 dead.

A UN factfinding mission to Myanmar in August called for senior military officials to be investigated and prosecuted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Amnesty International said Suu Kyi has shielded the military from accountability "by dismissing, downplaying or denying allegations of human rights violations and by obstructing international investigations into abuses."

"Aung San Suu Kyi's failure to speak out for the Rohingya is one reason why we can no longer justify her status as an Ambassador of Conscience," Naidoo added.

Amnesty International presented Suu Kyi with the award in 2009 for her peaceful and nonviolent struggle for democracy and human rights, while she was still under house arrest.

Several other awards and accolades, including the prestigious Elie Wiesel Award from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and her honorary Canadian citizenship, have also been revoked over her alleged failure to intervene in Rakhine State.